[Table of Contents]

3. From Eviction Resistance to Rent Control
Tenant Activism in the Great Depression

Mark Naison

Notes

1. New York Times, July 3, 1936, Mar. 8, 1937.

2. The most useful works dealing with the Popular Front phase of American Communism are Joseph Starobin, American Communism in Crisis, 1943-1957 (Cambridge Mass., 1972), and Al Richmond, A Long View from the Left (Boston, 1973).

3. Interview with Richard B. Moore, Nov. 14, 1973, conducted by Mark Naison; New York Amsterdam News, fan. 9, 1930, Sept. 17, 1928.

4. Daily Worker, Apr. 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 19, 25, 1929.

5. New York Amsterdam News, June 5, 1929; Daily Worker, June 8, 1929; William B. Rudell, "Concerted Rent Withholding on the New York City Housing Front: Who Gets What, Why, and How?" paper, Yale Law School, Spring 1965, pp. 36-37.

6. Daily Worker, June 12, 25, July 1, 2, 4 1929; Revolutionary Age, Nov. 1, 1929.

7. New York Times, Apr. 16, 1930; Rudell, "Concerted Rent Withholding," pp. 37-38.

8. Bronx Home News, Jan. 31, 1932; Real Estate News, Jan. 1931, p. 12.

9. Real Estate News, Jan. 1931, pp. 12-13 Bronx Home News, Apr. 27, 1932.

10. New York City Housing Authority, The Failure of Housing Regulation (New York, 1936), pp. 12-17; Roy Peel, The Political Clubs of New York (New York, 1935), pp. 210-212; New York Times, Feb. 26 1932, Jan. 15, 1933; "No Rent Where There Is No Work," New Leader, Dec. 17, 1932, p. 5.

11. Real Estate News, Jan. 1931, pp. 12-13; Apr. 1931, p. 126; New York Times, Feb. 14, 1932; Bronx Home News, Jan. 10, 13, 1932.

12. Daily Worker, Dec. 9, 30, 1929; Mark Naison, Communists in Harlem during the Depression (Urbana, Ill., 1983), pp. 24-26.

13. New York Amsterdam News, Oct. 8, 1930. Real Estate News, Apr. 1931, pp. 126, 131; New York Times, June 3, 1931; Daily Worker, Oct. 6, Dec. 13, 1930, Jan. 5, Mar. 13, May 20, June 22, Aug. 19, 22, Sept. 17, 1931; Interview with Theodore Bassett, Dec. 14, 1973, conducted by Mark Naison.

14. Daily Worker, Mar. 18, 28, May 12, June 13, Aug. 6, 1931; Working Woman, Oct. 1931, p. 12.

15. Kim Chernin, In My Mother's House: A Daughter's Story (New York, 1983), pp. 100-101; Interview with Sophie Saroff, Oral History of the American Left Collection, Tamiment Library; "The Utopia We Knew: The Coops," Cultural Correspondence, Spring 1978, pp. 95-97; "The Political Significance of Rent Strikes," Party Organizer, Feb. 1932, pp. 23-24.

16. Bronx Home News, Jan. 10, 22, 1932; Daily Worker, Jan. 5, 8, 1932.

17. Bronx Home News, Jan. 23, 1932; New York Times, Jan. 23, 1932; Daily Worker, Jan. 23, 1932; Interview with Sara Plotkin, Jan. 23, 1976.

18. Bronx Home News, Jan. 28, 29, Feb. 2, 1932; New York Times, Jan. 30, Feb. 2, 4, 1932; Daily Worker, Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 1932.

19. Bronx Home News, Jan. 31, Feb. 3, 5, 7, 8, 1932; New York Times, Feb. 10, 1932.

20. Daily Worker, Jan. 9, 18, 23, 28, 1932, Real Estate News, Feb. 1932, pp. 54-55; Kenneth Alan Waltzer, "The American Labor Party: Third Party Politics in New Deal-Cold War New York, 1936-1954," Ph.D. dies., Harvard University, 1977, pp. 149, 153-154, 162; Irving Howe, A Margin of Hope: An Intellectual Autobiography (New York, 1983), pp. 1-2.

21. New York Times, Feb. 27, Mar. 13, 16, 1932; Real Estate News, Mar. 1932, p. 90; Bronx Home News, Feb. 12, Mar. 16, 1932; Daily Worker, Feb. 25, Mar. 1, 8, 1932.

22. "Political Significance of Rent Strikes," p. 23; Bronx Home News, June 8, 1932.

23. Bronx Home News, Mar. 10, 1932; New York Times, Mar. 25, 1932; Real Estate News, Apr. 1932, pp. 134-135.

24. Real Estate News, May 1932, p. 152; Bronx Home News, May 27, June 8, Sept. 4, 10, 1932; Daily Worker, May 21, 30, June 1, Sept. 10, 1932.

25. Real Estate News, Feb. 1933, p. 50.

26. Naison, Communists in Harlem during the Depression, pp. 76-78; Bronx Home News, Nov. 27, 1932; Hunger Fighter, Sept. 1932, pp. 1-4; Mar. 1933, pp. 1-4.

27. Daily Worker, Dec. 7, 22, 1932, Jan. 4, 6, 1933; Bronx Home News, Dec. 7, 1932, Jan. 5, 15, 1933; New York Times, Dec. 7, 21, 1932, Jan. 6, 17, 1933; Working Woman, Mar. 1933, p. 15; Chernin, In My Mother's House, pp. 96-97.

28. Working Woman, May 1933, p. 18; New York Times, Jan. 12, 17 28, 31, 1933; Daily Worker, Jan. 9, ii, 12, 14, 19, 1933.

29. Daily Worker, Jan. 9, 11, 20, 24, 28, 1933, Bronx Home News, Jan. 25, 1933.

30. On Irish-Jewish tension in New York see Ronald H. Bayor, Neighbors in Conftict: The Irish, Germans, Jews, and Italians of New York City, 1929-1941 (Baltimore, 1978), esp. pp. 87-108; Daily Worker, Jan. 31, Feb. 1, 4, 9, 11, 14, 15, 23 1933; Bronx Home News, Feb. 1, 1933.

31. Bronx Home News, Jan. 15, 18, 25, Feb. 15, Mar. 26, 1933; Real Estate News, Jan. 1933, pp. 12-13; Feb. 1933, pp. 50-51, 59; New York Times, Jan. 15, Feb. 1, Mar. 12, 1933.

32. Bronx Home News, Jan. 25, Feb. 21, 24, Mar. 9, 26, 1933; New York Times, Mar. 31, 1933; Real Estate News, Mar. 1933, p. 83; Brooklyn Eagle, Mar. 27, 1933.

33. Bronx Home News, Mar. 28, Apr. 11, June 1, 1933; New York Times, Mar. 28, June 1, 1933; Daily Worker, May 1, 11, 13, 18, 19, 31, June 3, 1933.

34. New York Times, June 8, 1933; Real Estate News, June 1933, pp. 164-165; Bronx Home News, June 8, 1933.

35. Interview with Sophie Saroff; Frances Fox Piven and Richard A Cloward, Poor People's Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail (New York, 1977), pp. 76-82; Naison, Communists in Harlem during the Depression, pp. 257-259.

36. Woman Today, Aug. 1936, pp. 6-7; "The Citywide Tenants Council, A History," typescript in Heinz Norden Collection, Tamiment Library, pp. 7-8.

37. New York Times, Mar. 28, 30, Apr. 5, 1934.

38. New York City Housing Authority, Failure of Housing Regulation, pp. 2-17; Welfare Council of New York, Rent Control: Four Options (New York, 1937), pp. 2-4; New York Times, Sept. 23, 1936, Jan. 3, 1937.

39. New York Amsterdam News, Aug. 11, 18, Sept. 1, 1934; Negro Liberator, Aug. 18, 1934; on the atmosphere of protest in Harlem during the spring and summer of 1934, see Naison, Communists in Harlem curing the repression, pp. 115-124.

40. New York Amsterdam News, Sept. 1, 8, 1934; New York Age, Sept. 29, 1934; Negro Liberator, Sept. 1, 1934.

41. New York Amsterdam News, Oct. 6, 1934; New York Times, Mar. 21, Apr. 6, 1935; Negro Liberator, Sept. 8, 29, Oct. 13, 1934; Interview with Donnelan Phillips and Thomas Murray, Apr. 10, 1976; Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 3-4.

42. Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 3-4; Rudell, "Concerted Rent Withholding," p. 63; interview with Hope R. Stevens, Aug. 3, 1981, conducted by Joel Schwartz.

43. Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 5-6; Heinz Norden, "Knickerbocker Village: Background Story," p. 1, and Aubrey Mallach, "Landlord Tenant Relationships in Government Sponsored Housing Projects," pp. 32-34, typescripts in Heinz Norden Collection.

44. Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," p. 6; Mallach, "Landlord Tenant Relationships," p. 40; New York Times, Oct. 23, 24, 25, 31, Nov. 12, Dec. 1, 1934.

45. New York Times, Dec. 10, 1934; Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 6-7; Mallach, "Landlord Tenant Relationships," pp. 41-60.

46. Norden, "Knickerbocker Village," p. 1; Mallach, "Landlord Tenant Relationships," pp. 52-60.

47. Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 8-9; Daily Worker, Mar. 9, 10, 12, 13, 17, 1936.

48. Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp 9-11.

49. Ibid., pp. 11-12; Woman Today, Aug. 1936, pp. 7-8.

50. Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," p. 60; Daily Worker, Dec. 2, 3, 4, 1936.

51. New York Times, Dec. 9, 16, 1936, Jan. 3, 1937; Daily Worker, Dec. 15, 16, 23, 1936.

52. Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 12-13; New York Times Dec. 18, 19, 24, 1936; Daily Worker, Dec. 16, 19, 24, 29, 30, 31, 1936, Jan. 1, 1937.

53. City-Wide Tenants Council Minutes, Dec. 1, 1937, Norden Papers; The Tenant, vol. 1, nos. 1-3; vol. 2, no. 1; Norden "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 21-22, 29-30, 41; New York Times, Feb. 2, July 22, 1937.

54. Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 18-19; Interview with Donald Schoolman, Feb. 1, 1976, conducted by Joseph Spencer.

55. Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 20-21.

56. New York Times, Oct. 26, 27, 1937; for City-Wide's position on arbitration, see Heinz Norden, "The Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in Low Rent Housing," report submitted to Citizens Housing Council, Feb. 17, 1938, Norden Papers.

57. "How Tenants Organization Keeps Down Rents and Improves Housing Conditions," Nov. 1937, typescript; City-Wide Tenants Council Minutes, Dec. 1, 1937, Norden Papers; The Tenant, vol. 2, no. 4; Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 20-21, 45, 56; New York Times, May 7, 1937.

58. Interview with Donald Schoolman, Feb. 1, 1976; Daily Worker, Feb. 14, 1939; The Tenant, vol 2, no. 4; Mallach, "Landlord Tenant Relationships," p. 36.

59. Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 25-29, 50-52, 60; "The Tenants Housing Program, 1937," "Legislative Program, 1940: Citywide Tenants Council," in Norden Papers; New York Times, Jan. 25, Feb. 17, 27, 1937.

60. New York Times, Jan. 19, Apr. 8, 23, 4, June 22, Sept. 25, 1938; Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 30-31; Housing Newsletter, Mar. 4 and Apr. 16, 1940, in Norden Papers.

61. New York Times, July 17, 1937; Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 25-27; City-Wide Tenants Council, "Suggested Program of Work for Summer," June 4, 1940, "Legislative Program, 1940," in Norden Papers; Daily Worker, Feb. 14, 1939.

62. Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 27-29.

63. Ibid., p. 45; "Suggested Program of Work for Summer," June 4, 1940; The Tenant, vol. 2, no. 4; Heinz Norden to the editor, New York Times, July 19, 1938; Grace Aviles, Memorandum to New York City Housing Authority (1941); "Calling All Tenants," (published by Hillside Tenants Association), "Queensbridge News," (published by Queensbridge Tenants Association), in Norden Papers.

64. Interview with Donald Schoolman, Feb. 1, 1976; also see Housing Newsletter, issue running from Jan. 5 to May 6, 1940, Norden Papers.

65. City-Wide Tenants Council, "Resolution on Housing and Peace," June 20, 1940, and "Plan for Tenant League Activities to Augment and Assist the Work of Civilian Defense end 'Help Win the War' Activities," in Norden Papers; Interview with Donelan Phillips, July 11, 1972; City-Wide Tenants Council, "Resolution: Priorities -- Housing and National Defense," Oct. 20, 1941, in Fiorello H. La Guardia Papers, Municipal Archives and Records Center; Daily Worker, Feb. 22, Apr. 23, Aug. 31, 1942.

66. Interview with Mamie Jackson, Jan. 1975; New York Age, Apr. 26, 1941; Norden, "Citywide Tenants Council," pp. 56-57.

67. Davis R. B. Ross, Preparing for Ulysses: Politics and Veterans during World War II (New York, 1969). p. 238; Daniel D. Gage, "Wartime Experiment in Federal Rent Control," Journal of Land and Public Utility Economics 23 (1947): 52; Memorandum, Federal Price Administrator to Fiorello H. La Guardia, July 26, 1943, (Grace Aviles to Mayor La Guardia, Aug. 27, 1942, Aviles to Leon Henderson, August 27, 1942, in La Guardia Papers, Box 153.

68. New York Age, July 4, 1942, Aug. 1, 15, Sept. 19, 1942; New York Amsterdam News, Sept. 19, Oct. 17, 1942; Peoples Voice, Aug. 1, Sept. 21, Oct. 17, 31, 1942; Daily Worker, July 21, Sept. 20, 30, Oct. 1, 1942; Telegram, Ferdinand Smith to Mayor La Guardia, Oct. 7, 1942, La Guardia Papers, Box 2772.

69. Daily Worker, Sept. 24, Oct. 6, 14, 22, 23, 27, Dec. 22, 1942; Joseph Curran and Saul Mills to Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, July 16, 1942, La Guardia Papers, Box 153; Lawrence Lader, Power on the Left: American Radical Movements since 1946 (New York, 1979), p. 13.

70. New York Times, Aug. 3, 7, 20, 1943; Interview with Donelan Phillips and Thomas Murray, Oct. 1, 1975; Dominic J. Capeci, Jr., The Harlem Race Riot of 1943 (Philadelphia, 1980), pp. 86, 159; Max Goldfrank to Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, Aug. 6, 1942, Memorandum, Joseph Platzker to Hn. F. H. La Guardia, Sept. 21, 1942, Telegram, Michael J. Quill to Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, Oct. 6, 1943, La Guardia Papers, Box 153; Daily Worker, Aug. 20, Sept. 10, 29, 30, Oct. 1, 3, 10, 14, Nov. 1, Dec. 27, 1943.

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